Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

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DAMIEN1307
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Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:35 pm

The only thing that really, really irks me is Flatpaks...it is so incorporated into Mintinstall that you cant just simply remove it and it is "imposed" without choice of the OP to remove without removing mintinstall with it...i realise that anyone can choose not to use it but for me at least, i should have the choice to not have flatpaks at all, just like everything else with Linux...i do not like nor except anything in my system that i refuse to use and be forced to allow it to occupy space on my system...this "flatpak" by rights, should be a piece of "elective" software add-on, not hardwired in to a vital repository system...reminds me of M$ way of doing things...if any one has devised a clever way of getting rid of this needless fluff, (at least to me, its needless), without ruining an otherwise great software manager, please let me know...many thanks, i know its a "rant", but it flatpaks applications are just way too bloated for me to ever use...DAMIEN
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by Moem » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:57 pm

You realise that the Software Manager is just offering you options, right? If you do not install any Flatpaks, then you effectively do not have Flatpaks at all. Just because it's in the Sears catalogue, doesn't mean that you have to buy it, or that you already have...
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by rene » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:20 pm

And do also note this thread: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=275123

The short of it: flatpak applications take up very significantly less space then someone adding up totals as displayed in Software Manager might expect.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:30 pm

hi moem...i realise what you say and as i said in original post, "i realise that anyone can choose not to use it but for me at least, i should have the choice to not have flatpaks at all, just like everything else with Linux"...its like a neighbor who builds his fence one inch into my property line, its minor but its still my property...flatpak is an inch over the property line and it is now just a matter of principle...my computer is my property and i should get to choose if i even want to install or not install flatpak to be used on my system...and hi rene, ive also read that in my quest to remove this "thing"...my only point is that it should be elective, not imposed, flatpak is not "linux mint" required for mint to work, but mint has made it so that you cant have a LM component (mininstall, software manager) unless you except flatpak as an integral part of it...thats the whole point here, i dont care that it only takes up a minute amount of space, i object that it takes up any space at all when it is truly not wanted...in the same way, i remove samba, telnet, mono/orca, virtual box, apport, xapian-index, flashplugin-installer, btrfs-progs, ModemManager.service, NetworkManager-wait-online.service, pppd-dns.service, ipv6.conf, fonts, and a host of other programs and services, etc...these services are installed but not imposed as something that you have to accept, you can purge/remove them if you wish...i dont think it is much to ask to be able to do the same with flatpak is all, what makes flatpak so important to mint developers that they do not give us the choice to purge/remove it like we can do with everything else...just saying...DAMIEN
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by MrEen » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:20 pm

I'm still on 18.3 so I don't know if this works in 19, but flatpak remote-delete flathub makes the Flatpak section of Software Manager empty. Is that good enough?

Strangely, it didn't release 45TiB back to my system though. :wink:

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by rene » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:29 pm

Just checked and flatpak support is hardwired into mintinstall, i.e., /usr/lib/linuxmint/mintinstall/mintinstall.py, indeed. This is to say there is no sensible way to remove it other than by basically rewriting mintinstall. MrEen's suggestion only removes Flathub as a "software source" so to speak; would be akin to de-listing a repository in mintsources, which I doubt you'd consider removing apt support from Mint.

Must also say: flatpak support in mintinstall does not take appreciable resources; the support in the mintinstall Python script itself and a dependency on the libflatpak0 shared library package (via gir1.2-flatpak-1.0) seems to be it. Flatpak support is a feature of mintinstall and I'm sure also you generally live with quite a few unused features of the programs you have installed. I have personally not for example probably used 2% of the features of GIMP, or even say Tools -> Web Developer in Firefox. I do however not feel this means those features should be removable from GIMP or Firefox, and do as such still somewhat expect it's fairly explicitly flatpak that irks you.

In that case, really do note that flatpak applications tend to themselves be not or only marginally larger than their repository versions. It is difficult to make precise, for mintinstall as well as me, since automatic sharing of even individual equal files between different applications means you can basically say what any individual application is going to take only by, well, installing it and checking, but it's only the first or first few flatpak applications that are in fact significant; once the basic Freedesktop runtime is installed and/or the GNOME and KDE runtimes if you use those (which themselves build on and share the Freedesktop one) the pain's over.

If not convinced, and while it's a bit of a departure from Linux Mint, I'd advise http://www.linuxfromscratch.org. Not seriously, but that is to say that if you really do insist on stripping things down, Linux Mint is maybe not the proper choice in the first place.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by Portreve » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:24 pm

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:30 pm
hi moem...i realise what you say and as i said in original post, "i realise that anyone can choose not to use it but for me at least, i should have the choice to not have flatpaks at all, just like everything else with Linux"
Except for (already installed, btw) system components, there is nothing in LM's repos (or, for that matter, in any other distro's repos) which are required for LM to function.

FlatPacks, etc., are present in any given distro's repos because they are tested and known to work correctly with one's distro of choice. In that sense, they're no different than any other piece of software contained therein.

Your "FlatPacks in the repos == a neighbour building a fence which is in any manner partially on my own property" analogy is flat out wrong.

For the record, consider the following actual scenario: Go to Scribus' web site and download the AppPack version of their development version (1.5.x) and then install it on LinuxMint, and also on Solus. It will work fine on LM, and is 100% borked on Solus, even though Solus does support this type of software distribution system.

I would strongly prefer to have all my AppPack / FlatPack type software channeled through my distro (though I realize this is impractical) than take a chance on getting it from some third party source which may or may not have done the necessary things to make it work universally, and whom I should also add I don't know I can genuinely trust.
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by Moem » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:01 pm

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:30 pm
my computer is my property and i should get to choose if i even want to install or not install flatpak to be used on my system...
That's fair. And you get to do that. It's just in the repo, not in your computer; in other words, it's not on your property. Just being offered in your local shopping mall. Since you don't like it and don't want it, don't bring it home.
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by JosephM » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:29 pm

Moem wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:01 pm
DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:30 pm
my computer is my property and i should get to choose if i even want to install or not install flatpak to be used on my system...
That's fair. And you get to do that. It's just in the repo, not in your computer; in other words, it's not on your property. Just being offered in your local shopping mall. Since you don't like it and don't want it, don't bring it home.
It's quite possible the dependency on flatpak will be removed in the future. Outside of that you have plenty of choices. Like remove the software manager or choose to use another distro completely. Some of these over the top "behaving like Microsoft" types of rants get a little ridiculous sometimes.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:52 pm

hi joseph and thank-you for your reply...i do hope that the flatpak "dependency" will be removed in the future and that you, as a developer are aware of this as an "issue" to at least some of us...i did say in the beginning that this was somewhat of a "rant" but i did not say "behaving like microsoft", what i did say was "reminds me of M$ way of doing things", that is, making something a dependency, which to me is an all or nothing scenario..which also, to me at least, is not quite the same thing, at least as how i worded it...again many thanks for your consideration in the matter...DAMIEN
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:11 pm

Just another reason i do not think its a good idea to have flatpak on our systems by default with no way to remove it...came upon this article today and i quote'
there's this situation when the computer doesn't belong to you; you're on a standard user account, and you encounter a situation in which the computer asks administrative password to install the program. Great news! Flatpak applications can be installed for a standard user account also called per-user mode
...isnt that just a really "fantastic" idea...DAMIEN


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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by rene » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:07 am

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:11 pm
...isnt that just a really "fantastic" idea...DAMIEN
Yes, of course it is. Why do you think it isn't?

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:36 pm

rene said,
Yes, of course it is. Why do you think it isn't?
are you kidding me???...someone without admin priveledges should be able to install additional programs to someone elses system???...thats not even worthy of an answer...DAMIEN
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by ajgringo619 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:07 pm

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:36 pm
rene said,
Yes, of course it is. Why do you think it isn't?
are you kidding me???...someone without admin priveledges should be able to install additional programs to someone elses system???...thats not even worthy of an answer...DAMIEN
I believe that "per-user" Flatpak installs are placed in the user's home directory so there should not be any impact to the system. It's really no different that a user compiling his own software and changing the make install parameters to point to a directory he/she has access to.

While I understand your frustration that Flatpak is too integrated into the Mint system, just disable it.
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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by rene » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:13 pm

Exactly.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:54 pm

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:36 pm
rene said,
Yes, of course it is. Why do you think it isn't?
are you kidding me???...someone without admin priveledges should be able to install additional programs to someone elses system???...thats not even worthy of an answer...DAMIEN
I think you're confused. It would actually be extremely hard to prevent a user from running custom code. You'd basically have to write a new, super limited desktop environment to get anywhere close, also prevent shell and virtual console access. It's unrealistic. There is no problem with users executing code. That's why permissions exist.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by smurphos » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:04 am

You'll love this website Damien - https://flatkill.org/

BTW in my opinion whilst it is based on some valid concerns it's author is somewhat histrionic in his conclusions - i.e overall the website is FUD.

Flatpak is a safer method than PPA for adding software, and flatpaks from flathub is curated to a greater degree by real people than for example snap. I don't use them because of the lack of system theme integration - and that's my only reason.

Edit to add - out of interest I just tried installing a flatpak or two from software manager in a standard user account - with no group memberships. Fail - it asked for a sudoers user name and password about halfway through the install and then aborted when that wasn't provided. So either mintinstall has baked in some additional protection, or it might just have been the flatpaks I tried. Don't know - can't be bothered to try more.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 am

smurphos wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:04 am
Edit to add - out of interest I just tried installing a flatpak or two from software manager in a standard user account - with no group memberships. Fail - it asked for a sudoers user name and password about halfway through the install and then aborted when that wasn't provided. So either mintinstall has baked in some additional protection, or it might just have been the flatpaks I tried. Don't know - can't be bothered to try more.
As far as I recall it installs the runtime(s) to the system. If those were your first flatpaks it would have had to install those first.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by smurphos » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:46 am

gm10 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 am
As far as I recall it installs the runtime(s) to the system. If those were your first flatpaks it would have had to install those first.
So unless an admin user had installed at least one flatpak on a system, standard users on the same system won't have access at all? Need to test some more - another day. It was the runtime that asked for sudoer credentials.

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Re: Unhappy about Flatpaks in Software Manager

Post by ajgringo619 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:49 pm

smurphos wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:46 am
gm10 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:28 am
As far as I recall it installs the runtime(s) to the system. If those were your first flatpaks it would have had to install those first.
So unless an admin user had installed at least one flatpak on a system, standard users on the same system won't have access at all? Need to test some more - another day. It was the runtime that asked for sudoer credentials.
That's only if the runtime was installed as a system library. I tried installing VLC as a standard user and it failed - not because of needing root permissions, but because the remote itself wasn't installed as a user remote. For example, once I did this - flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists --user flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo - I was able to install VLC as a regular user. All of its required libraries, including a few system libraries that were already installed, were specific to my user account. Since I was not asked for any passwords, I'm assuming that any user smart enough to add the flathub remote to his/her profile would be able to install Flatpaks. In a networked environment, this would be really cool.
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